Jury Hears Murder Defendant
MINOT – It was very heated, very emotional, and perhaps the most impactful evidence yet presented by the prosecution in the Heather Hoffman murder case.
As the State continued to present their evidence Friday morning, the jury listened to a recording of Hoffman and the victim, Alexander Eckert, during a January 7, 2022, encounter. Eckert was found deceased in the entry way of his apartment in the early morning of April 22, 2022. The cause of death was determined to be a gunshot wound to the face.
Hoffman continued to sit still, showing no reaction, as the jury heard a recorded conversation between her and the father of her young child. In sharp contrast to her courtroom demeanor, Hoffman could be heard yelling at Eckert to “get the f___ out of North Dakota” and “I’ll break your f___ing jaw. She warned Eckert that she was “not kidding.”
The dispute between Hoffman and Eckert revolved around custody of their child, who was living with Hoffman. Kyle Craig, Eckert’s attorney in the custody dispute, took the witness stand. Craig explained that Eckert was “anxiety prone and very concerned about what was going to happen next.”
Craig explained to the jury that North Dakota law required Eckert to give Hoffman his address. State’s Attorney Rozanna Larson followed up with, “What was his response?”
“Terrified,” said Craig. “He did not want to do it.”
Earlier, Craig told the court about his extensive work in matters of Family Law, including many custody cases. During defense attorney’s Steven Mottinger cross-examination, he asked Craig about the recorded conversation that was played for the jury.
“This was one of the most severe one’s I’ve ever listed too,” said Craig.
The State was expected to call additional witnesses Friday afternoon. The defense has not yet presented their case.
Hoffman is facing the possibility of life imprisonment without parole. She has been held in the Ward County Jail since her arrest on April 26, 2022.